Jr. | D | Commack, N.Y.
was 9-3-3 in games in which Birnstill had at least a point
Statistics: Birnstill led Husky defensemen in assists
(16) and was second in points (18) in 2004-05, more than double
his point total as a freshman.
He Does: Birnstill is a smooth offensive defenseman,
one who can skate, move the puck and lead the power play.
He enjoyed impressive growth over the course of the 2004-05
season, and with do-it-all Husky defenseman Tim Judy lost
to graduation, he'll need to take on an even more significant
role this season.
Bigger Picture: Birnstill grew as a person last year;
his game will improve even more if he grows physically, filling
out his 6-foot-2 frame. Added bulk would allow him to play
a more physical game defensively and make him that much tougher
to knock off the puck. New head coach Greg Cronin plans to
make conditioning a top priority, so Birnstill will have no
choice but to hit the weight room.
assistant coach Gene Reilly on Birnstill: “His
skating has gotten much better, and he's certainly developed
his quickness. He's a very competitive person. That hasn't
translated into more physical play yet, but once he fills
out, he could be very tough.”